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10 Amazing Alternative Sports Clips

Robert Sliwa . . . Comments

The wonderful world of sports has given us numerous moments of joy and pleasure. We love to cheer at the rare moments when our favorite team provides us with glorious performances and outstanding displays of sheer brilliance. While many of these rare occurrences happen in popular sports like football, soccer or basketball these moments also happen in less popular sports that are performed by an individual alone. This list will focus on some incredible performances that are pulled off by athletes in what I call alternative sports. The following clips feature inspiring achievements by people who are not your every day heroes but even if you don’t usually appreciate these kinds of sport events you will certainly appreciate these one-of-a-kind moments of pure brilliance.


360 Flip

Category: Skateboard
Amazing Feat: Chris Cole 50+ attempts at a 360 Flip

Chris Cole is a professional skateboarder who is probably best known for his appearances in the highly successful Skate video games for the XBox 360 and for winning the coveted Thrasher’s Magazine Skater of the Year Award twice. In this clip he tries to execute a 360 Flip down a brutal staircase in San Fransisco, California. While I stopped counting his attempts the comments on the YouTube page tell us that he tried this trick for more than 50 times in a row. Many skateboarders would have quit after a few attempts due to the considerable impact he has to suffer each time landing on the concrete but not Chris Cole. His determination is truly inspiring.


Highest Air Record

Category: BMX
Amazing Feat: Mat Hoffman World Record Air

Mat ‘The Condor’ Hoffman might be one of the most recognizable characters in extreme sports history. Few others have influenced the BMX genre in the way he did as he has invented more than a hundred tricks that are now standard in the genre, as well as appearing in several video games based around his person that helped to bring this sport to a wider audience. In his career he has not only accomplished everything a BMX rider possibly can, but rather pushed the boundaries of the sport far beyond the usual competitive aspect. The clip shows one of his most ridiculous stunts that involves an over-sized ramp that has been build for the sole purpose of setting a new world record in terms of highest air, a motor-cross bike that helped him gain enough speed and a lot of courage. If you wonder how dangerous this stunt actually is then let me tell you that he tore his spleen and almost died when he tried to perform this feat a few years earlier.


Tiger’s Chip

Category: Golf
Amazing Feat: Tiger Woods Chip at the 2005 Masters

I’m pretty sure that some of you have already seen this clip before. With more than 400,000 views on YouTube it is one of the more viral videos here but when you read the title of this list, this clip just fits perfectly. Tiger Woods faces one of the toughest pitches on the entire course and you just have to love the commentators discussing how difficult it is to even get near the hole. The first minute of this clip show how Tiger analyzes the situation and he definitely looks pained over this shot. The outcome of this shot is sheer brilliance displayed by the greatest golfer of all time. It almost has a commercial feel to it when you see the ball seemingly stopping just inches away from the hole, and the line of the commentator (‘In your life have you ever seen anything like this?’) just sums up this great shot perfectly.


Double Front Flip

Category: BMX
Amazing Feat: Anthony Napolitan Lands First BMX Double Front Flip

Anthony Napolitan is a professional BMX rider who gained notoriety and respect from his fellow peers by pulling off a trick at the 2006 X Games that has never been seen before. He failed the double front flip before, missing a safe landing by a couple of degrees and though every failed attempt at this monstrous ramp almost certainly means injury or worse he seems to be determined to nail this trick in front of the large crowd. In this clip he lands the trick as clean as it gets and seeing this achievement in slow motion just gives you goosebumps.


9 Dart Finish

Category: Darts
Amazing Feat: Phil Taylor 9 Dart Finish Twice In One Match

I must admit that I am not a huge fan of darts. I find it rather boring to watch on television and every time I happen to stumble over it while changing channels I seem to see the same guy over and over again. This guy comes from England and is called Phil Taylor. He also happens to be the best darts player who ever lived which comes as no surprise when you consider that he has won the world championship 15 times. In this clip he pulls off of a feat that also has never been seen before. For those of you who don’t know what a 9 Dart finish is let me tell you that first of all, it is extremely difficult, almost bordering on impossible. Comparable to a perfect game in bowling the darts player must finish a single game (or leg) in the minimum amount of shots possible, which is 9. While this finish alone is more than tough Phil Taylor does the impossible and scores two 9 dart finishes in a single match.


Uncanny Fold

Category: Poker
Amazing Feat: Annette Obrestads Uncanny Fold at World Series of Poker 2010

Some may argue that poker is not really a sport and they might have a point but everyone who enjoys raising, betting and folding every once in a while will agree that there is a certain competitive aspect to the game that bears a striking resemblance to the other sports you will see on this list. If you have trouble agreeing to this just consider poker as a mental sport and this is definitely within the boundaries of this list’s topic. In this clip you will see young Norwegian professional poker player, Annette Obrestad, who happens to find herself in the middle of several other players at a hand at the World Championship of Poker in 2010. Every recreational poker player knows how hard it is to fold a flopped full house later on in a hand, especially when the board runs out rather unscary, like in this example. This hand is talked about even today in various poker forums and shows the uncanny ability of Obrestad as she just soul-reads his opponents hand perfectly and finds the extremely unlikely but correct fold. Sheer genius for her age.


Double Back Flip

Category: Motor Cross
Amazing Feat: Travis Pastrana Double Back Flip

Travis Pastrana is yet another professional BMX rider who just happens to be utterly insane. Good for him that his apparent death wish is matched by sheer talent. In this clip he tries to pull off a double back flip and I think I don’t have to mention that this has never been done before, or do I? Prior to this stunt he has told his mother what he is about to try with the words: ‘I’m going to do the double back flip and if something happens just remember I love you and I’m just having fun.’ This clearly shows that a failed attempt at this stunt might easily result in a long hospitalization, if your lucky, that is. The moment when he is up in the air and the whole crowd goes silent in anticipation of the outcome is very chilling and believe me when I tell you that you actually feel very relieved after watching the whole clip.


Vert Run

Category: Skateboard
Amazing Feat: Bob Burnquist 2001 Vert Run at X Games

Bob Burnquist is one of the best known professional skateboarders out there. He was featured in the popular Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series and has been the center of attention due to some of his crazy stunts like successfully going over a loop ramp that had a gap in it or doing a base jump at the Grand Canyon after grinding a specifically designed rail. In this clip you will see him in action at the 2001 X Games doing a vert run that can only be described as mesmerizing. Following the theme of this list you don’t necessarily have to like skateboarding. You might even have a dislike against this sport but either way, you will be blown away by the incredible run that the Brazilian genius pulls off. In the first part of the clip you’ll see Bucky Lasek, a very talent skateboarder in his own right, completing his excellent run that leaves Bob Burnquist as the last skater standing on the ramp with an almost impossible task. In order to beat Lasek he’d have to really show something spectacular in his last run and boy, does he deliver. The commentators just contribute to this clip perfectly and will leave you smiling after 2:35 minutes of the most beautiful display of a skateboarding performance.


Maximum Break

Category: Snooker
Amazing Feat: Ronnie O’Sullivans fastest Maximum Break in Snooker History

Ronnie O’Sullivan is definitely the one when people talk about the thin threshold between brilliance and madness. When he has one of his good days he literally sweeps over the field of competitors leaving them not the slightest chance to win a match of snooker against him. On his good days he delivers relentlessly on the green felt and makes former world champions look like amateurs. But there is another side to him, too. His father is a convicted murderer and currently serves time in prison and it might be some of his genes that are responsible for Ronnies behavior at the table that is often less than gentleman-like. He quits games in the middle of a session, leaving hundreds of paid fans mad at him for ruining their afternoon and he also likes to play left handed to displease his opponents, openly ridicule them, while still crushing their souls on the felt. In this clip you will see a good day. Maybe even the best day this talented man has ever had. In a record 5:20 minutes he manages to clear the whole table, an extremely difficult feat to accomplish but the speed and accuracy of his shots are a beautiful display of raw talent that is unmatched in this sport.


Slams and Stomps

Category: Skateboard
Amazing Feat: Danny Ways Slams and Stomps

During my research I have found many moments in these alternative sports that were uplifting and truly inspiring. You have seen nine of these moments already and in their own right, these video clips are nothing short of spectacular and might or might not send a shiver down your spine. But from the moment on I saw Danny Way in this video clip I knew I had to put him on the top of the list. The clip shows a true skateboard legend going through arguably the most emotional moments of his life. Once again, we find ourselves at the X Games, more specifically at the ridiculously huge ramp. We see Danny going down this monster and his first attempt at performing looks spectacular in all regards, except for the end when he lands on the rail of the monster ramp shin first and bails in shocking fashion. For a few moments he lays still and the last thing anyone in the crowd or any viewer has in mind are the remaining three runs that he could possibly take. But Danny sure has other plans in mind. As the commentator says, this is really a lesson in determination.

  • Hey, great research & showing (some of) us achievements in sports that we tend to ignore just adds to the pleasure of seeing something special. As you said in a couple of spots – you don’t have to like or follow the sport to know that you are seeing something amazing.

    • Salo Hes

      She Bangs! Shee Bangs! Oooh Baby,
      She Move! She moves!..
      she looks like a flower but she sting like a bee..

    • aswqe

      How could you say that John Lennon is not talented?! he sang for the beatles you know.. The beatles!

      • brian

        You’re on the wrong list

    • what

      travis pastrana isnt famous for bmx, the B in bmx stands for bicycle…

  • mike

    i dont have anything smart to say

    • odaltyr

      How about that the first skater in number 10 should at least wear minimum protective gear?

      • Andrew

        That’s not what the sport is about. If he did it with pads, it would basically be worth nothing. Vert they wear pads, it’s a whole different ball game. Street skating is just supposed to be ‘raw’ I think, getting hurt just adds to how amazing it is. That’s what I’ve learnt through people anyway.

      • bbbbBeaver

        The risk of injury within street skating adds to the appeal of the trick itself. When a trick has a higher risk of serious injury, the more “gnarly” it’s regarded as.

  • lkae

    Did you know that john lennon was unable to do a 360 flip ? What a shame !

    • Will Trame

      A walrus usually can’t. Or was the walrus Paul?

    • Tryclyde

      According to the author yesterday, he was unable to do a 360 flip so that meant he was a a physically lazy sloth who advocated unhealthiness and heart disease.

  • Pelorus

    Interesting list … Liked the snooker guy …

  • Andrew

    Really good list! Some of that skateboarding stuff was incredible…number 10 was madness. Great stuff!

  • Pauly

    Skateboarding is MIND-NUMBINGLY boring to watch, maybe more so than golf or NASCAR. No one cares about some idiot who does tricks or jumps on an overpriced plank with wheels. If skateboarding is a sport, Segway riding should also be considered one, seeing it’s just as dull.

    • Johnny

      Skateboarders enjoy watching it…clearly. Did you see the crowds there? 23 million of them in the US alone too…barely behind Golf in sheer numbers!

      • Arsnl

        Doing 50 times the same thing with the same result, failing. Thats not entertaining. Thats just monotonous aka boring.
        When you don’t play against other players (a plank with wheels and a u shape thingy), when it’s just you and your material, and no randomness factor, that’s not fun. The winner is just the guy who practiced the most.

        • oak

          well, the doing 50 times thing just showed his determination to land it…thats like watching batting practice, getting bored and condemning baseball…

          “no randomness factor?” you have clearly never been on a deck before or hung out with those who do…physics is intensified on that “plank with wheels and a u shape thingy”

          there are many of us who would rather watch a mediocre skater over the superbowl or world series anyday…we may not be right but we aren’t wrong either

  • MGB

    It says Travis Pastrana is a BMX rider, he isn’t, he’s MX.

  • Will Trame

    An unusual list for Mothers’Day. Perhaps the mothers-in-law or famous mothers/daughters should ahve appeared here today. But sports clips? Oh well…..

    While we’re at it, and thanks to yesterday’s Lennon list garnering such potent response here are some sporty songs:

    !. Anyone For Tennis, Cream
    2. Golf Girl, Caravan
    3. Centerfield, John Fogerty
    4. Backfield In Motion, Mel and Tim (or was that a sports song?)
    5. Sports, Huey Lewis and The News (album title only)

    Happy Mothers Day

  • Hello

    Great list. How about this guy:
    Robbie Maddison jumps his motorbike to the top of a replica of the Arc de Triomphe… and back down again.

  • Naked Man from San Antone

    my gut wont let me consider this as a sport, yall want to see a real sport? watch

    Wrestlin’ dang those folks really are somethin.. flipping a cycle aint nothing difficult. NASCAR shoulda been here to say the least.. yall make me dissapoined yet again!

    • Zach

      Enjoy being a redneck stereotype.

  • Frank.0

    Danny Hart winning the 2011 UCI Downhill World Championship at Champery is one that could appear here.

  • Matt mate

    Amazing list, a real pick me up. Brilliant research and great ordering.

    Best list of the year xx

  • Daltsmeister

    Best list I have read for a long time, great list mate and some awesome clips
    a fun list that has made my day thanks!

  • Keith

    Being a snooker player, I couldn’t help but be a bit puzzled at some of the things written about Ronnie O’Sullivan in this post. I’ve recently read his autobiography, his father is no longer in prison after being released several months ago and was a millionaire businessman before being tangled up into a gang fight that resulted in a death. Ronnie also plays left handed not to ‘displease’ and ‘openly ridicule’ his opponents, but instead because of his natural born talent and to avoid using the rest which can be challenging at different parts of table for a right hander, many other players also use their left hand but not as often as they are not as good with it as Ronnie is, Ronnie is actually capable of playing left handed at a pro level.

    • Pete

      Absolutely. Ronnie had to beat a former world champion playing entirely left-handed to prove it wasn’t just a gimmick. He plays both hands because it makes the game easier than tricky rest shots and gives him more positional options. A truly magnificent talent, blighted by depression.

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  • Baba

    Can’t the videos be viewable on mobile?

  • an amazing list. listverse back at its best. truely inspiring clips! Not only mad amounts of talent and physcial prowess but a level of mental strength that diffrentiates these players from the rest. Would love to see a list of more general sporting moments.

  • Rob

    One of the best lists I’ve read in a long time on here. 5/5

  • Sorcha

    Very interesting list- I enjoyed reading about the sports and what would happen in the clips almost more than actually watching the clips! Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci’s astounding displays in the 1972 and 1976 Olympics would have slotted in nicely on the list. Maybe for part 2…

  • L.

    One time, I shit my pants at a birthday party and I left a shit smear on my friend’s suede sofa. I went home and tried to drown myself in the toilet. I never got the stains out of my underwear.

    • Pauly


  • Sbtier

    Golf is an ‘alternative sport’? It’s been pretty mainstream for quite awhile.

  • sam

    i wouldnt say golf is a alternative sport

    • Andy

      It’s an alternative sport for those with no athletic ability.

  • RoboChef

    Great list, but would have been better if the range had been wider. Too much of the same sports, personally I enjoy more those lists that show one example from every category available. For example, where were the water sports: kayaking, free diving, (surfing) etc.?

  • demonizer

    remember when listverse used to be good?

  • Art Vandelay

    Another great clip…..Jan-Ove Waldner, one of the greatest table tennis players ever.

    • Arsnl

      Im sorry man. This isn’t sport. This is just comedy. It made me laugh so much. So many questions raised by this video. Why did he continue hitting it harder and harder, instead of just changing directions.
      This is pure comedy and i have no words to describe how ridiculous it is.

      • Jsh

        The reason they hit it harder and harder is so that eventually it becomes too much for the opponent. The ball slows down considerably after it hits the opponents side so a change of direction is useless because the players are so far back that they would be able to return the shot if it changed direction because it would be far less powerful than one in the same direction.

        I don’t play myself, but it’s pretty easy to see the skill involved in the game.

      • Art Vandelay

        I’m guessing you’ve never played ping pong before (or tennis for that matter). If you did you’d know that changing directions in the midst of a rally such as that is basically impossible. You cant just switch from hitting it down the line to cross court on the drop of a dime. You play the percentages and beat your opponent into submission or change directions when the point dictates it. I don’t necessarily disagree that it isn’t sport (along with Nascar, bowling, and half the other “sports on this list”), but it doesn’t take away from the players’ skill, coordination and talent at their craft.

  • MW

    Lots of trash sports there. Couldn’t you find anything from drag racing or UFC while you were at it?

  • arivalscientist

    Street Fighter Justin vs. Daigo

    • Art Vandelay

      Lol….even though I always hated Street Fighter, I was more of a Mortal Kombat/Tekken kinda guy

  • Mr. Smart

    I usually do not like to criticize lists, and I actually found this one in particular to be very well-written, and interesting. However, I used to be a die-hard skater, and not seeing Tony Hawk’s first successful 900 at the 1999 X-Games was very disappointing.

    • shane

      Hey guys.

      Just came across a decent website to watch sports online. Streams seem pretty good so far.

      Check it out – Has alot of sports streaming all the time!

  • joe bogs

    you forgot bog snorkeling!, look at him go

  • suarez84

    Brilliant list. Thank you for posting

  • mom424

    Good list. All the clips were interesting; could have had a little wider range, but entertaining none the less.

    Appears to me that to be a really good skateboarder you must be even better at falling….ouch. Betcha his shins were as big as his thighs by the end of the night.

    The Tiger clip was very good – my how the mighty have fallen eh? All for a little dilly dallying. tsk. Still hope he claws his way back – he did make the sport much more entertaining.

    • Nikita

      Make your opinion known People like blogs, they like blogs bescuae they are written by people and not corporations. People want to know what people think, crazy as it sounds they want to know what you think. Tell them exactly what you think using the least amount of words pos

  • Complainer

    Can we have some real sports other than poker, darts and skateboarding please? I was looking forward to some amazing football/soccer goals at least.

    Plus when that guy did a double backflip is it just me or was there a massive overreaction?

  • Blue

    No parkour?

  • Sad not to see any awesome Roller Derby footage! :(

  • Cmomo

    One of the best sport lists I’ve seen! The one point I think you missed in your description of Ronnie O’Sullivans clip is that he didnt just clear the table in 5:20, he had a maximum 147 in 5:20 which is much much more impressive than a simple clearance. (If you’re not familiar with snooker to achieve a 147 you have to pot the black after every single red).

  • Reality

    “Some may argue that poker is not really a sport” Neither is hotdogging on a bicycle or a skateboard.

  • Re: snooker and Ronnie O’Sullivan. Check out Youtube, “Ronnie Ali 2012 Game 7”, where Ronnie cleared a table with such difficult ball positions, that it might be one of the greatest clearances in the history of the game.

  • Excellent list!!

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  • Dyin Isis

    Roller Derby is full of awesome moments… This is just one…

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